Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
As I write, lightning is flashing above our house, occasionally slashing sideways through a fury of wind that pelts our tortured trees with stinging, needle-stripping rain. This fragment of Armageddon becomes bookended by brilliant sunshine. So goes the roller coaster world of 2020.
In a time rife with dastardly deeds, heroic selflessness, and much “What’s in it for me?,” people often speak of karma in either wary or hopeful tones. Since I recently had an opportunity to learn a few specifics (have mercy on me, karma scholars!), allow me to elaborate:
In spite of what many suppose, karma isn’t punishment. However, because the universe operates through cause-and-effect, karma reminds us the natural balance or harmony of reality guarantees we will reap what we sow. Hateful thoughts produce a hate-filled environment. We affect our future. We have the ability to choose how we respond, and similar choices made over the years produce similar results. So, the young woman who told me she goes for sexy “bad boys,” in spite of advice against it from her family and friends, can look forward to more occasions in which she is treated like trash. She can anticipate additional relationships that will reflect the unhappy, sometimes violent circumstances she suffered through with boyfriends number one and two and three…unless she changes her preferences dramatically. We must heal our thoughts to heal our karma.
As we suspected, the scales of karma can “ripen” to balance with evil or “unvirtuous” thoughts, words, emotions, and deeds—like producing like…such as covetousness, malice, divisive, hurtful speech, lying, murder, stealing, and sexual misconduct—until/unless the individual chooses to intervene for a different outcome. (Honestly, those are examples of unvirtuous karma, not a description of a particular modern individual’s behavior.) We can point out many people and societies that have fallen into moral degradation due to the seduction. We can go there before we learn, or we can create harmony by investing in “virtuous” karma.
On a worldwide and/or personal level, we can entertain views that heal ourselves or others. We can feel contentment with what we have, holding love and compassion for the people around us. We can speak truth that unifies, encourages, and heals. We can conserve life, taking care not to hurt other lives and sharing our bounty. To grossly oversimplify that which should be simple but seems difficult, we can employ wisdom, ethics, and mental discipline to change the hand we were dealt—regardless of how painful that hand might have been—into one we enjoy playing. We’re capable of altering the story permanently. We can learn from our experiences.
The sky above me is darkening again now. I know another burst of storm is nearing. I saw it on weatherbug.com. As with all the shadows of darkness that impact me now or ever, I can choose how I react. I won’t change the storm—or I think I won’t. But my life is another matter. What I see/believe/perpetuate is what I get. Whether I accept that I’m worthy or not worthy, enough or not enough, content or miserable, I’m right. A pattern can continue looping for a long, long time. I do my best to choose my karma carefully.